WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott shared an update of actions he has taken over the last two-and-a-half weeks in response to Hurricane Ian and issued an updated guide to federal resources available for Florida families and businesses working to recover from the devastation. Senator Scott continues visiting and speaking with mayors, law enforcement, business and community leaders, utilities and federal officials to ensure Florida’s families and communities are getting every resource needed to recover from Ian.
In preparation for and response to Hurricane Ian, Senator Scott has taken the following actions to assist Floridians:
- October 9, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE Sen. Rick Scott Visits Local Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Ian in Goodland
- October 7, 2022: Following Calls with FEMA & SBA, Sen. Rick Scott Shares Updated Federal Resources Guide for Florida Families Recovering from Major Hurricane Ian
- October 6, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE Sen. Rick Scott Thanks Volunteers with St. Matthew's House in Naples
- October 5, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE Sen. Rick Scott Thanks Volunteers with Red Cross, Salvation Army and Cajun Navy
- October 5, 2022: Sen. Rick Scott: Once FEMA Determines Need, the Senate Must Immediately Reconvene to Vote on Ian Aid Package
- October 5, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE Sen. Rick Scott Visits with Fire Rescue Task Force 1 in Lee County
- October 4, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE Sen. Rick Scott Thanks USCG at Air Station Miami, Receives Briefing on Hurricane Ian Response & Recovery Missions
- October 4, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE Sen. Rick Scott Thanks Line Workers Restoring Power in Southwest Florida
- October 3, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE Sen. Rick Scott Receives Briefing, Thanks Officials, Volunteers Responding to Hurricane Ian in Southwest Florida
- October 2, 2022: Sen. Rick Scott Shares Actions to Support Florida Families Following Major Hurricane Ian, Updates on Federal Resources
- October 1, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE: Sen. Rick Scott Visits Impacted Communities and Osceola County Emergency Operations Center Following Landfall of Major Hurricane Ian
- October 1, 2022: Sens. Rick Scott & Marco Rubio’s Request Expediting Major Disaster Declaration for the Seminole Tribe of Florida Approved by President Biden
- October 1, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE: Sen. Rick Scott Visits Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center Following Landfall of Major Hurricane Ian
- September 30, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE: Sen. Rick Scott Visits Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center Following Landfall of Major Hurricane Ian
- September 30, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE: Sen. Rick Scott Visits Lee County Emergency Operations Center Following Landfall of Major Hurricane Ian
- September 30, 2022: Sens. Rick Scott & Marco Rubio Urge Senate Appropriators to Provide Assistance for Florida's Recovery from Major Hurricane Ian
- September 30, 2022: Sen. Rick Scott Sets Record Straight on Misleading Liberal Attacks
- September 29, 2022: Sen. Rick Scott: I’m Fighting to Quickly Deploy Every Federal Resource Needed to Florida
- September 28, 2022: Sens. Rick Scott & Marco Rubio Lead Colleagues Urging Biden to Approve Hurricane Ian Major Disaster Declaration
- September 27, 2022: PHOTO & VIDEO RELEASE: SEN. RICK SCOTT: HURRICANE IAN IS DEADLY, HEED EVACUATION ORDERS NOW
- September 26, 2022: PHOTO RELEASE: Sen. Rick Scott Visits Collier County Emergency Operations Center Ahead of Ian Landfall
- September 26, 2022: SEN. RICK SCOTT RECEIVES BRIEFING ON HURRICANE IAN AT NHC, URGES FLORIDIANS TO STAY ALERT & FOLLOW EVACUATION ORDERS
- September 24, 2022: Sens. Rick Scott & Marco Rubio Urge Biden to Approve Florida's Pre-Landfall Emergency Declaration Request Ahead of Ian
- September 23, 2022: Sen. Rick Scott: Floridians Should get Prepared NOW for Potential Impacts from a Major Hurricane
Helpful Resources for Individuals:
Emergency Service Request:
Provide critical information to first responders to help locate and rescue survivors of Hurricane Ian. This information can help first responders address the needs of impacted households as quickly as possible. Learn more HERE.
Other Helpful Resources for Individuals:
Stay up-to-date with information from your local Emergency Management officials. Find information relating to your county HERE. You may want to also contact the Florida State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) at 1-800-342-3557. Impacted Floridians should not return home until the area is declared to be safe by local officials. Read more from FEMA about returning home HERE.
FEMA’s role is to help communities prepare for and recover from disasters. Find information specific to Hurricane Ian, including which counties are eligible, on FEMA’s website HERE, by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-FEMA (800-621-3362), or registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov. For information regarding FEMA Inspector and Fraud Notices, learn more HERE.
National Flood Insurance Program
Following a Presidential Disaster Declaration, FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders are encouraged to apply for FEMA disaster assistance in addition to their flood insurance claim. Policyholders impacted by Hurricane Ian are encouraged to contact their insurance agents as soon as possible for more information about filing a claim. Get more details about filing a claim HERE or reach NFIP assistance directly HERE or by calling 1-877-336-2627. Once starting a claim, FEMA suggests documenting all damage, including photos and videos, recording serial numbers and securing receipts. FEMA also recommends policyholders should take steps to stop the spread of mold if safe to do so.
If your policy has expired, you may be able to reinstate it if your renewal date was between Aug. 25, 2022, and Oct. 23, 2022. Policyholders whose NFIP policy renewal date is within this range should contact their agent or insurance company. The NFIP has extended the proof of loss requirement for policyholders who experienced flood damage from Hurricane Ian from the standard 60 days to 365 days from the date of loss. For questions about NFIP, call 800-759-8656 or visit Floodsmart.gov.
Citizens Property Insurance
Citizens Property Insurance is urging policyholders to contact them as soon as possible in the wake of Hurricane Ian. Citizens representatives can be reached online HERE or by calling 1-866-411-2742. Additionally, Citizens is warning policyholders to be wary of unlicensed contractors and “deals that sound too good to be true.” Policyholders are discouraged from signing anything before consulting with an insurance agent. Citizens policyholders can report suspected fraud online HERE or by calling 1-855-748-9596.
Disaster Recovery Centers
The State of Florida and FEMA have opened additional state-led Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) in Lee and Sarasota counties. Disaster Recovery Centers provide disaster survivors with information from Florida state agencies, FEMA, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Survivors can get help applying for federal assistance and disaster loans, update applications and learn about other resources available. Hours for all centers are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
- Home Depot, 12621 S McCall Rd, Port Charlotte, FL 33981
- Veterans Community Park, 1895 Veterans Park Drive, Naples, 34109
- Wauchula Civic Center, 515 Civic Center Dr., Wauchula, FL 33873
- Lakes Regional Library, 15290 Bass Road, Fort Myers, FL 33919
- Fort Myers DMS Building, 2295 Victoria Ave., Fort Myers, FL 33901
- Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32808
- Hart Memorial Central Library, 211 E. Dakin Avenue, Kissimmee, FL 34741
- W.H. Stuart Center, 1702 S. Holland Pkwy, Bartow, FL 33830
- Shannon Staub Public Library, 4675 Career Lane, North Port, FL 34289
- Seminole State College - Barbara Miller Automotive Center, 100 Weldon Blvd., Sanford, FL 32773
U.S. Housing and Urban Development
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also offers disaster recovery assistance following Presidentially declared disasters. Read more from HUD HERE.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) may be available to Florida businesses and residents in FEMA disaster-declared counties whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Ian. Individuals must file for state Reemployment Assistance benefits before filing for DUA. During the application, claimants should indicate they have been impacted by the disaster. Learn more HERE. Apply HERE.
Transitional Sheltering Assistance
The state of Florida and FEMA have activated the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program for Hurricane Ian survivors in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and Volusia counties. Survivors from these counties who have applied for disaster assistance may be eligible to shelter in a hotel or motel paid for by FEMA. Survivors will be notified of their eligibility through an automated phone call, text message and/or email, depending upon the method of communication they selected when they applied for assistance.
Critical Needs Assistance
FEMA may provide financial assistance to applicants who have immediate or critical needs because they are displaced from their primary dwelling. Immediate or critical needs are lifesaving and life-sustaining items, including water, food, first aid, prescriptions, infant formula, diapers, consumable medical supplies, durable medical equipment, personal hygiene items and fuel for transportation. This assistance applies to primary residences in Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Osceola, Sarasota, Seminole, and Volusia Counties.
Operation Blue Roof, Temporary Roof Repair
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been tasked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist eligible homeowners with temporary roof repairs. The Operation Blue Roof program began on Oct. 3 to provide a temporary blue covering with fiber-reinforced sheeting to help reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be made. Eligible counties include: Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, DeSoto and Collier Counties. Learn more HERE.
Orange and Osceola counties are now eligible for FEMA Public Assistance for the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged public facilities. Other counties include: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, Volusia. Learn more HERE and HERE.
FEMA Individual Assistance can help with temporary lodging expenses, basic home repairs and other essential disaster-related needs. For an accessible video on how to apply for assistance go to FEMA Accessible: How to Register with Disaster Survivor Assistance - YouTube. Apply for assistance, or learn more about the Individual Assistance program.
Individual Assistance is available to individuals and households in need of financial and direct services who have uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs. Impacted individuals with insurance and residents outside of declared counties are still encouraged to apply. Individual Assistance is available in Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia counties. Individuals can apply in multiple ways:
- Apply for disaster assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov
- Download the FEMA mobile app
- Call 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time
- Visit Mobile Registration Intake Centers announced by local officials
- Visit Disaster Recovery Centers. A Disaster Recovery Center in Fort Myers is open daily from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. More centers may open as needed.
- See a comprehensive list of Disaster Recovery Centers listed above
Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that low-income Florida residents recovering from Hurricane Ian could be eligible for assistance from the USDA’s Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). Details on Florida’s D-SNAP program will be available at the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Hurricane Ian Response & Recovery website. D-SNAP sites will be posted on the website as they become available.
Helpful Resources for Businesses:
U.S. Small Business Administration
Following a Presidential Disaster Declaration, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters. Eligible counties include those in the federal Disaster Declaration, as well as the contiguous counties. Learn more HERE.
For information on tax relief in disaster situations from the IRS click HERE.
SBA Business Recovery Centers
The Naples Players: 701 5th Avenue South, Naples, FL 34102
- Hours: Monday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday – Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Museum of the Everglades: 105 Broadway Avenue W., Everglades City, FL 34139
- Hours: Saturday – Monday, Oct. 8 to 10, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Yellow Deli: 22 N. Polk Ave., Arcadia, FL 34266
- Opening: Tuesday, Oct. 11, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Oct. 12 to 14, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Chloe Coney Urban Enterprise Center: 1907 E. Hillsborough Ave., Tampa, FL 33610
- Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Closed: Sunday
The Hub at SWFL, Inc.: 25071 Chamber of Commerce Drive, Bonita Springs, FL 34135
- Hours: Sunday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kiwanis Club of Cape Coral: 360 Santa Barbara Blvd. S., Cape Coral, FL 33991
- Hours: Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Closed: Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Sanford Information Center: 230 E. First St., Sanford, FL 32771
- Hours: Sunday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program:
At the state level, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan (EBL) Program. The loan program provides short-term, zero-interest loans to small businesses who experienced economic injury or physical damage due to Hurricane Ian. Loans approved through the Emergency Bridge Loan Program are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a disaster impacts a business and when a business has secured longer term recovery funding, such as federally or commercially available loans, insurance claims, or other resources.
Eligible small businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans of up to $50,000 through the program. Businesses must also be located in Florida, have been established prior to September 24, 2022, be located in an eligible county, must have been economically or physically damaged by Hurricane Ian, have a credit score of 600 or above, and must have repaid all outstanding EBLs. Visit www.FloridaJobs.org/EBL to learn more about the program, as well as to view the lending guidelines and required documentation and to complete an application by the December 2, 2022, deadline.
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website floridadisaster.biz provides information about preparing, responding to and recovering from a disaster. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey in response to Hurricane Ian. Survey responses will allow the state to expedite Hurricane Ian recovery efforts by gathering data and assessing the needs of affected businesses.
- Food and Water. As information becomes available, Floridians in need of food and water can find a nearby point of distribution location HERE. Storms can affect public water treatment plants, water lines and private wells - citizens affected by the storms must err on the side of caution until their water is tested. Learn about Boil Water Notices from the Florida Department of Health HERE.
- Operation Blue Roof. Once activated, homeowners, or renters with legal permission, whose homes have no more than 50 percent of the roof framing damaged can qualify. Residents are encouraged to sign up, check status, and cancel their applications through the online portal HERE, which can take 5 minutes or less. Residents can also call 888-ROOF-BLU (888-766-3258), 8am-8pm EST, for assistance of a live operator, which may take up to 20 minutes.
- Medications. Early prescription refills are permitted during a state-declared State of Emergency. Learn more from the Florida Department of Health HERE.
- Shelter. Shelters are currently open and available and locations can be found HERE, or through the American Red Cross HERE, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
- Mental Health Resources. You are not alone. If you are in need of support through any disaster, crisis or circumstance, please reach out. Florida 211 connects individuals to local helpline call centers that have crisis counselors for disaster recovery and can provide information on access to local resources such as housing, food and health care. Connect by phone 24/7 by dialing: 2-1-1.
Also, the Disaster Distress Helpline is a national helpline that provides crisis support services for individuals in emotional distress that are impacted by disaster. Connect by phone 24/7 by calling or texting 1-800-985-5990.
- Price Gouging Hotline. Florida Attorney General Moody’s Price Gouging Hotline remains open for Floridians statewide to report instances of severe price increases on essential commodities needed to prepare for the storm. Florida’s price gouging law only applies to commodities and services essential to preparing for, or recovering from, a storm during a declared state of emergency. If you feel you have been a victim of price gouging, report online HERE, by calling 1-866-9NO-SCAM, or by downloading the NO SCAM app.
- Use extreme caution when operating heavy machinery, generators, or while removing debris. Never use generators indoors and keep them away from windows, doors and vents.
- Wear sturdy shoes or boots when walking on, or near, debris. Wear long sleeves and gloves when handling debris.
- Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing, use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris, and maintain a physical distance of at least six feet while working with someone else. People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled, even if they do not have an allergy to mold.
- When clearing debris from a property, know the location of all utilities, both underground and overhead to prevent injury. Do not place items in front of, around or on top of buried and above ground utilities.
- Use caution around any buried utilities. Cutting vital communications assets such as fiber optic lines can cause a loss of cellular networks, including cell phone service or access to the internet. Call 8-1-1 before digging so utilities can be marked in advance.
- Don’t drive or walk through flood waters. Be aware of downed power lines, standing water and other hidden hazards.
- Stay off roads so that emergency workers are able to get through.
The following Twitter accounts, along with your local Sheriff’s Office, Police Department, and County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), may be helpful for up-to-date information and resources on Hurricane Ian.
See Senator Scott's Hurricane Information webpage HERE. Senator Scott urges Floridians impacted by the storm to follow guidance from local officials. Stay up-to-date with information from your local Emergency Management officials. Impacted Floridians should not return home until the area is declared to be safe by local officials. Read more from FEMA about returning home HERE. See the latest on Hurricane Ian response and recovery from FEMA at www.fema.gov/disaster/hurricane-ian and from the Florida Division of Emergency Management at floridadisaster.org or @FLSERT on Twitter.